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In brief: Ford recalls Escapes, Fusions due to fires

Sat., Dec. 1, 2012

DETROIT – Ford Motor Co. said Friday that it is recalling more than 89,000 new Escape SUVs and Fusion sedans because the engines can overheat and cause fires.

The recall affects vehicles from the 2013 model year with 1.6-liter turbocharged engines sold in the U.S. and Canada, the company said.

Ford says it’s working on a fix. The company says the engines can overheat and leak fluids onto hot parts, causing fires.

It’s the fourth recall in four months for the all-new Escape, a top seller for Ford in the important compact SUV segment of the market. Safety advocates say more than three recalls in a car’s first year are a sign of quality problems.

VeriSign’s ‘.com’ contract extended

NEW YORK – The federal government has cleared VeriSign Inc. to manage the databases that house “.com” domain names for another six years, but the company won’t be allowed to raise prices without approval.

Under the contract that expired Friday, VeriSign was guaranteed four price increases of up to 7 percent each on domain name registrations. VeriSign sought a similar guarantee as part of the contract renewal, but the Commerce Department rejected it. The new contract freezes the annual price at the current $7.85 per name, barring special circumstances.

The $7.85 fee translates to $824 million a year in revenue. Had VeriSign been allowed to raise prices, the company could have charged as much as $10.29 by the end of the six-year term. That would have meant an additional $256 million a year.

VeriSign’s stock fell $5.19, or 13 percent, to close Friday at $34.15.

J&J CEO to replace departing chairman

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Johnson & Johnson Chairman Bill Weldon will step down from that post in late December, and the world’s biggest maker of health products has picked new CEO Alex Gorsky to replace him.

The New Brunswick, N.J., company had named Gorsky, 52, as CEO earlier this year, replacing Weldon.

J&J said Friday that Weldon will step down Dec. 28 as chairman and retire in next year’s first quarter, wrapping up a 41-year career with the company. Weldon, 64, stepped down as CEO in April after a decade in that role.

Gorsky, who will hold both of the company’s top titles, has worked for J&J since 1988, except for a four-year stretch when he ran the North American pharmaceuticals business of rival Novartis AG. Gorsky had been responsible for J&J’s medical devices business since 2009 before becoming CEO.


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